COLIBRI presents its Geoportal, featuring a new mapping tool combined with a database completely dedicated to General Aviation

02 March 2021

Since 2019 the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the European Union (EU) are partners in a Project called “COLIBRI: monitoring and controlling general aviation along the cocaine route”. The Project aims to step up international coordination and efforts with the aim of combatting organized crime and the challenges posed by drug trafficking.

The flexibility offered by General Aviation (GA) is exploited by organized crime. In order to strengthen controls over this mode of transport, COLIBRI presents a new IT tool: the Geoportal and its mobile application.

The new IT Portal comprises a database and a communication tool to share information to aid the control and monitoring of GA in coordination with partners around the world.

Technology can help specialized services to monitor General Aviation activities, including clandestine flights, by geo-mapping events such as seizures and crashes involving aircraft, tracking flights where possible, and gathering knowledge. This new IT tool is also very important for strengthening cooperation between law enforcement agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean, Western and Central Africa and Europe.

The development was divided into two phases. Phase one, November 2019 – February 2020, was aimed at defining what needed be implemented through the analysis and assessment of needs. Phase two, development, started in March 2020 and lasted until February 2021.

The months of April and May 2020 were dedicated to the development and incorporation of data and the presentation of the first version of the application.

The Geoportal is composed of: a secure web portal, a document management system, and a mobile application for consulting information on the ground and adding information on seizures, incidents, etc. The focal point of the project is the database, through which all the information is centralized, and the administrators will manage all the information which can be consulted through a secure channel.

The Geoportal, its database, and the mobile application, will help with risk analysis and in developing control and operational strategies. Through the Geoportal, administrations will be able to collect information and send it to operational units regardless of their location. The Geoportal will make it possible to overlay information on a map and to take measures to plan a mission.

The Geoportal was developed by a consortium selected following a call for tender and it will be available in four (4) languages, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and will be accessible from and adaptable to any device.

The presentation of the Geoportal is a key milestone for the Project and the main purpose of strengthening the ability for law enforcement administrations to control and monitor general aviation.